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after all, but gilding a fordid Dunghil, in Comparison of the incorruptible Part? How perishable are all other Commodities of external Figure; and their Glories fading, like the faireft Flowers, in Apparel !
her Cloathing is Silk and Purple.
ERE UPON, our virtuous Wife again redoubles her commendable Diligence and Curiosity. The Fura niture of her House appears very
noble, and her own Apparel suitable to its Excellency: in which, the Greatness, as well as Goodness of her Mind, is the more conspicuous still, because they are both of her own frugal Making and Contrivance. She makes her self Carpets, Coverlets, and Hangings of the best Tapestry, wrought with. ingenious Pictures of diverse Colours : insomuch that she furnishes her Dwelling-Place, like a Palace; fit for the Reception, Entertainment or Co-habitation of the greatest Monarch. Thus the hangs her Rooms, spreads her Tables, and adorns her Beds in the genteelest Manner. She cloaths her self also with substantial Silk, and covers her Body with the most serviceable Garments of her owa curious Handy-works : 12 that by her Ingenuity,
as well as Industry, she adds a greater ‘Lustre to the very Purple she wears, with the most becoming and exquisite Elegancy. Virtue and Prudence prompt her naturally to those useful Undertakings, and put her upon studying those delightful Arts of making the finest Coverings of all sorts, both for her own and her Family's Service. Her well-imploy'd busy Fingers are rarely disengag'd from doing some neat Piece of Needle.work, or curious Imbroidery. She imbellishes all her Houshold-Goods by her ad. mirable Dexterity, and often inriches the very Garbs of her whole Progeny, apparell'd in Silks, or Cloth of Silver and Gold. She supplies them with abundance of the best Satins, Tisues, and, Tapestries of several sorts, for the Use of the noblest Offspring or the latest Posterity. The fuperlative Excellency of her Manufactures ennobles her Appearance, and glorifies her Perfon. Her common Cloathing is incomparable ; and her ornamental Coverings, inimitable. In fine, the Attire of her whole Houshold; whether dress’d in plain or Purple-Garments, simple or imbroider'd : will always be made modestly suitable for any Occasion, either sacred or secular, solemn upon holy, or servile upon working Days.
REM ARK S.
CUMPTUOUSNESS of Apparel and Fura D niture have been always equally exploded by ancient Writers; whenever they exceeded the due Bounds of Modesty, exact Rules of Decency, and just Limits of Moderation. The moral Philosophers and Poets of Old, highly condemn'd the needless Superfluities of Both, as well as all other chargeable Excelles of a luxurious Lite;
either in Point of expensive Food, or diffolute * Fashions. Homer, to prove the Immortality of
the Heatben Gods, assigns this. Reason for it ; # that they did not eat : making such Indulgencies
as Eating and Drinking, &c. an Argument of : Death. Seneca cries out against the Shortness of
Life, the Length of Art, and the Prolixity of E Pride; hinting at the Laboriousness of Vani. 3 ty, in the Study of artificial Satisfactions. We
are always in a Hurry of Life; hunting after e new Inventions, and modish Novelties in Cloath
ing, as well as other vain Things: which commonly prove either insignificant, fatal, or unfortunate to their Admirers in the Pursuit ; and they themselves often become the Prey,
For what is it but preying upon themselves, if E they fall into Poverty by it, and are forc'd at
last to go a-begging with their fond Trifles ? Extravagance, either in Food, Fashion or Furniture, is like a Lion, a Bear, or any other wild Beast, that turns upon his Keeper, and tears him to Pieces. The Heathen Poets, as well as moral Philosophers, were more prudent Oeconomifts. They utterly decry'd all other superfluous Magnificence; and pompous Disoluteness ; either in frivolous or unprofitable Expences, in fumptuous or costly Apparel, in precious or precarious Moveables, in immoderate or useless House. Furniture, in gaudy or gilded Horse-Trappings, in numberless and vain-glorious Serving. men, or in keeping so many fine Horses, Hounds, Hawks, Birds, and Deafts of all sorts, for Diverfion : only to shew their own Grandeur, gratify their Ambition, and indulge their Affecta. tion of Curiosity. Their chief Business, as well as donieftick Furniture, consisted in learned Books ; or else they themselves were their own
living living Libraries. Their nobler Minds were wholly set upon sublimer Studies, and more inftruétive Recreations. Their loftier Thoughts were imploy'd in search of real Truth, Koowledge and wisdom. Their diviner Sentiments were fix'd upon the supreme being of Beings, (how much-unknown foever) in Quest of their Philofor phick Mercury, and spiritual Idea's abstracted from gross Matter. Their wiser Considerations transcended the Body, dignify'd their Notions, either natural or metaphysical, and, in a Manner, transmuted all earthy Riche's into real Contentment. Their more curious Arts and Enquiries, were far above the Care or Concern of external Habits. In short, they made the World truckle and serve them, but never render'd them. selves subservient to the World. It is certain, as Cicero well observes, that al} the Dieting of our Constitutions, Decking of our Bodies, and Adorning of our Houses, ought to be wholly referr'd only to Health, Strength and Decency; not to Praise, Pleasure, Delight, Delicacy, or Vainglory. Sumptuary Laws were ever yet efteem'd necessary in a well-govern'd State. Solon made several Acts to cut-off all Occasions of idle Expences, upon severe, Penalties. Lycurgus eltablish'd several Decrees, to abolish all kinds of Superfluities, and banish all sorts of strange Wares from Abroad : whereby both the 'Athenian and Lacedemonian Governments were kept in a more flourishing Condition of Prosperity. As to our wearing Habits, Antiquity thought all Masks and Mummeries, or Disguises at Masquerades, to be of the most dangerous, devilish, and perni. cious Consequence to Virtue, or the naked Truth of the Gospel. They are now also lately become the hellish Inventions of modern Practice, that invert
the very Ordinance of God; by some People's assuming false' Faces, falser Names, and the falsest
Hearts too, for the Sake of transacting such diri folute Impostures, Liberties and Sensualities, as I are not fit to be nam'd in a Christian Country.
But let the reprobated Authors, and Abetters
of all blasphemous Kit-Kut, Hell-Fire, Sulphuri Clubs, or Red-Dragon - Societies, remember, the i Sins of Sodom and Gomorrah did not escape the i divine Vengeance. Let them consider the fad
Fate, and sudden Catastrophe of Lewis of Magi deburgh; who, dancing only with some Ladies
to an unseasonable Time of Night, broke his ! Neck upon the Spot, by an accidental Fall.
Let them ruminate upon the providential Deliverance of Charles the Sixth ; who, being dirguis'd once like a wild Man in his Dress, and dancing by Torch- Light, narrowly escap'd the Danger of being burn’d to Death. There are temporal Fudgments, as well as eternal. In a Word, that's a sufficient Caution or Terror to the Wise.
BUT such like excellent Works as these, mention'd in the holy Text, which the noblest Ladies us'd to apply themselves to in former Days, are not less useful and profitable, than commendable or Praise-worthy. They are the fignal Marks of a most ingenious, as well as honourable Woman ; Demonstrations of her great
Frugality, and the Master-Pieces of her industri· ous Hands. They do not only imploy her
Time well, but improve her Invention to the greatest Advantages, and Admiration of her incomparable Performances. She seems to be the very Matron of wisdom, and the great Disciple of Minerva Her self; the prolifick Mother of all Elegancy in Dress, and a meer